Updated: Jul 4, 2019
So you have decided you want to buy a motorcycle jacket. Well that’s good. I mean, it is the right thing to do. And like all right things, it has to be done in the right way.
You did your research; visited shops, checked the internet, asked friends and so on. Within all this data chaos there is one dilemma that stands out: should I take a textile or leather jacket?
Protection comfort and style. That’s what you are looking for. It’s not about material. Because you know what? It doesn’t matter. As long as it has all the aforementioned and reflects you are riding style then you are good to go.
Both textile and leather are equally good and here’s why:
Cost: I am going to be straight with this. Leather is and always will be more expensive than textile. In fact, leather can be significantly more expensive compared to the textile jackets.
leather motorcycle jackets have been around for a few decades while textile ones have only recently made a breakthrough with regards to motorcycle gear. If you are a protection freak, stick with the leather jacket. The abrasion resistance of the leather jacket is clearly the factor that contributes to the leathers being better in this aspect. Nevertheless, textile jackets are not to be underestimated. Textile jackets have been tested and repeatedly proven to have great results when it comes to impact protection.
If you are a rider that wants a versatile jacket, then you should consider the textile ones. Textile jackets can be worn in most weather conditions and unless you are riding in Antarctica or areas with extreme heat where temperature rises above 45 Celsius, a textile jacket is the way to go. On the other hand, leather jackets are significantly less versatile and more focused on the purpose they serve but they definitely can’t be worn in all weather conditions.
Leather jackets tend to have better fit and the leather material gives a feeling of comfort. Better fit means better protector placement which is very important for safety. However, leather jackets are heavy and in longer rides they are not as comfortable as textile jackets. Textile jackets are not as fit as leather ones but they are lighter thus offering greater comfort in long rides. Because they are lighter, they offer more agility to the rider, which results in greater safety as well as comfort. Both leather and textile jackets are doing the photo finish here, since they both have strong arguments and counter arguments. At the end of the day it’s up to the rider to choose what’s best for him/her.
Simple. Leather for higher speeds and performance racing. Textile for commuters, adventurers and tour riders. Leather is by definition more aerodynamic thus providing less resistance and contributes to the rider’s stability and control of the bike. It can also keep you warm at high speeds. Textile is more versatile and can adapt to the needs of the rider.
Both textile and leather jackets have defined the type of the rider. For once it’s not the rider’s choice, but most of the times it’s the motorcycle’s choice. So if you ride a chopper type of bike you are probably getting a leather jacket, whereas if you ride an adventure bike you are getting a textile one. Something similar happens with most motorcycle types. However, there are some grey areas where both textile as well as leather can look nice and stylish. Just have in mind that your jacket will reflect your riding personality and culture. So dress accordingly.
Whatever you choose it’s going to be a choice of compromise. You lose a few things to win a few others. At the end of the day there is no better material cause where leather loses textile wins and vice versa. Just make sure you stay protected ride carefully and enjoy your rides.
At Siima MotoWear we have developed a textile touring jacket that satisfies even the most demanding riders. We have taken all the aforementioned into consideration and with your help, we have produce a great touring jacket: the Siima Mountain View. It is expected to be released in May 2015.
Have a look at it here and let us know your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org